Over the last couple of weeks the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia have been on every evening.
Last night there was an interview with one of the Australian competitors who won silver in his event. As he was being interviewed he mentioned the incredible support team around him, including family, coaches, and supporters. He ended up saying something along the lines of, “I’m the one who gets to wear the medal, but there are plenty of people who’ve been supporting me through the last four years”.
It’s a similar sentiment to many Olympians and sportspeople.
My mind went wandering on how this comment and the picture of an Olympian, with their medal and their individual success, seems to be all about them. In reality there is so much going on behind the scenes, with tens and maybe hundreds of people helping, that the achivement is an achievement of many.
The same is with missionaries.
Missionaries sense a call from God to head overseas to build relationships and tell others about the Good News of Jesus. Yet, while they’re the ones actually doing the work behind the scenes there can be hundereds of people and numerous churches who are behind them, praying, supporting, giving, and championing their work.
The ones that go are the ones that quite often get the praise, they get rewards, they go through the struggles of mission life and work. Yet, it is also those of us back at home who play just as vital a role as those on the field. We are here to support, to pray, to give, and to champion their work – God’s work.
I’m not sure if you’ve thought about your role in mission. It seems to me that everyone who attends a church that sends people cross-culturally has a role. It may seem small but it isn’t. It’s a role that can keep people going, it’s a role that helps them get there in the first place, it’s a role that God uses for his greater and glorious purposes.
Are you playing your role?